Monday, July 19, 2010

Israel, Crossing The Border

Map picture
Arriving at the Israeli Border, we are taken off the bus by the Israelis and passports are checked as armed soldiers watch.
Israeli Flag I and another passengers decide to take pictures and we are soon approached by plain clothes officials. They are polite in again checking our passports and asking to see the pictures we had taken.
We were asked to delete the pictures but "You can take all the pictures you want once officially across the border".
In my traveling bliss it is easy to forget where I am.  This is an Israeli Military Zone!

Back on the bus we are driven to the arrival terminal. Passports are taken and given a baggage sticker then it's through normal airport type screening.

Next.. Immigration.
Why are you in Israel?
Will you go to the West Bank?
Where will you be staying?
Do you know any one in Israel?
Hokey Pokey Dance Now like Elmo, do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around.

Two more passport checks then customs which is easy since all I have is a backpack.
I miss "Welcome To Jordan".

While waiting for a shared taxi, NIS$37  to Jerusalem I have an informative conversation with a Jordanian American. I am told picture taking can sometimes delay the border crossing 2-3 hours.
I am sorry.
Born in Jerusalem prior to 1948 he has to visit his birthplace as foreigner. There is only about 50 miles between Amman and Jerusalem and prior to 1967 it took only 1 hour to cross.
Today, we have spent more time than that at the border alone.

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